Xiaomi and its spin-off brand Redmi have always pushed affordability over everything else. In its five-plus-year tenure in India, Xiaomi has radically transformed the dynamics of the smartphone industry in the country. This penchant for making smartphones affordable and accessible to users still shines bright in the company’s vision despite the huge growth and patronage it enjoys. Even against the high value that Xiaomi’s smartphones have to offer, the POCO F1 stood out as an embodiment of practicality. Although it wasn’t perfect, the POCO F1 was a beacon of hope for consumers dismayed at the rising prices of flagship smartphones. The phone was met with high demand and garnered an enthusiastic following, and since its release, users have clamored for an equally high value-driven successor. While POCO has yet to release a successor even after 18 months, the brand’s latest POCO X2 is a contender that could achieve the same acclaim.
The POCO X2 is thick and chunky and its extravagant colors lend it a bold appearance. The heft of the phone is unmistakable: the weight breaches the 200g mark, making the phone uncomfortable for users with small hands like mine. This sense of discomfort has stayed with me since my first impressions of the POCO X2. How you feel about the weight of the smartphone comes down to personal preference, so while some users associate it with discomfort, others see it as providing durability and strength. For those who are likely to spend a major portion of their time gaming on the new POCO X2, the heft could be a potential pain point.
POCO is now an independent brand, but its close association with Xiaomi and Redmi cannot be understated. The POCO X2 itself is clearly a result of Xiaomi’s support such that the POCO X2 is essentially the same device as the Redmi K30 4G in China, as I noted in my first impressions of the POCO X2. POCO’s version of the story is that the teams from Redmi and POCO collectively designed the device, and therefore, share claims to the original design. Admittedly, the Redmi K30 5G has Redmi’s main attention in China: not only does it support 5G, but it also sports the newer and more powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G mobile platform. Meanwhile, the POCO X2 is limited to India for now, where even trials and spectrum allocation for 5G has yet to commence, and this gap warrants a great market for the new POCO.
The display on the POCO X2 is massive. It extends 6.67 inches diagonally and has a resolution of 2400 x 1080 pixels, resulting in an aspect ratio of 20:9. Due to the large footprint, the pixel density of the screen is around 386ppi, which is lower than the 400-plus values boasted by many competitors. The display technology is LCD and this results in lower contrast and saturated colors as compared to AMOLED display panels.
The POCO X2, just like the 4G Redmi K30, is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 730G mobile platform. This announcement was a bit of a let down for fans who were expecting a flagship processor in the second POCO phone, just like the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 on the POCO F1. Clearly, the POCO X2 belongs to a more budget-oriented segment and is not the true successor to the POCO F1. POCO has the intention of launching more premium devices (hopefully a POCO F2), but there is no solid information to back its existence yet. Considering the price, the Snapdragon 730G is one of the best mid-range SoC options available in the market. The suffix G implies that the Snapdragon 730G is meant for gaming. While the SoC is almost identical to the Snapdragon 730, it comes with better graphics performance thanks to an overclocked GPU. Last month, we reviewed the Realme X2, which also comes with the same chipset and is thus expected to have similar performance.
In real-life use, the Snapdragon 730G is a decent performer and can handle most tasks and games pretty easily. As intended, it can also handle the majority of games with ease, although it does tend to heat up during prolonged usage. The POCO X2 comes with a liquid-cooled vapor chamber which helps heat dissipation by conducting heat to the lower parts of the phone. Polycarbonate plastic is a better insulator of heat than glass, so the heat from inside the phone is more likely to be felt at the surface when compared to a phone with a plastic panel. While this means that you will feel more heat, the heat will also radiate to the environment – and make the phone cooler – much more quickly than plastic.